Ellen Medearis, Vice President of Duke Health Development and Alumni Affairs (DHDAA) since 2011, has worked at Duke for more than 20 years.  Prior to joining DHDAA, Medearis served in leadership positions within Duke Medicine and Duke University Development: she was Director of Major Gifts for Duke Medicine Development and Alumni Affairs, followed by Director of Major and Leadership Gifts, Executive Director, and then Associate Vice President for Duke University Development.

During her tenure at DHDAA, Medearis developed a new strategic plan for development and alumni programs, including a campaign plan and budget increases.  The university-wide Duke Forward campaign was launched in September 2012, with a goal of $3.25B.  The Duke Health fund raising goal of $1.2B was surpassed with $1.4B raised at the conclusion of the campaign in June 2017.

Medearis and her team have established a comprehensive faculty engagement program, a new principal gifts program, and a gift officer metrics and training program.  In 2014, the DHDAA office was one of just two at the University, outside of the Health System, to conduct a culture survey in order to improve worker satisfaction and productivity.  Additional surveys, along with a work culture committee, continue to be a key part of employee engagement.

DHDAA seeks to secure philanthropic support across all of Duke Health, pursuing the priorities of the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, the hospitals, clinical and basic sciences departments.